Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > Lets talk chickens.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-18-2008, 06:21 AM   #1
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default Lets talk chickens.

I'm 90% set on getting some chucks for eggs. I don't have space enough to breed and eat. Nor the time or set up money.

Does any one have layers (Not commercially) in an sub/urban environment?

How much time do they take? How long can you leave them unattended?

Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Dammit orfy! Now you've got me reading about chickens! That's 3 hours of my life wasted...

But to sum up what I read... they're pretty low maintenance and cheap to keep (although you won't really break even on the eggs). They can also be friendly and make great companions. They are social, so you should have at least a pair or more.

I never realized the variety in species. Many of them are really beautiful. Damn.. now you've got me thinking....

__________________
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Thanks.

I've done the reading but there's nothing like getting practical first hand experiences from people you can interact with.

I'm looking at maybe 3 to start.
I was at a show yesterday and there are some fancy ones but I'm going to rescue some barn birds that need a home. I've read that a bird costs around $1 a week to keep and eggs here are around $3 for 6 free range organic eggs so I should be in front.

I'll be looking to keep start up to under $100 if possible.


Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
zoebisch01
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,198
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

I have some mixed breed chickens, mostly stemming from Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. They average and egg a day during the warmer months, production slows in the winter but can be kept up if you provide light and some minimal warmth. They are very hardy and will breeze through winter. So if you get half dozen layers then you'll have a great supply. Extra eggs can be sold to neighbors to cover feed cost. Around 50 lb. of layer mash will last around 1.5 months for half dozen layers.

They begin laying in about 6 months on average and continue for several years, this is breed dependent. The "Black" or "Red Sex Link" chickens are reputably very good layers, but many breeds will not disappoint.

Care is minimal. You 'should' have around 3 sq ft of floor space per hen, but if you allow them some range area this can be drastically reduced. They don't like snow and most times won't go out in it. Consider in your area, I know it is small, a small hen house or even a Chicken tractor. If you made a nice one, it should compliment your yard. I can't recall off the top of my head how big your yard is (from the pics).

I will say, it is some of the most entertaining way to spend your time watching them. They are really funny. You can also feed them just about anything you'd normally compost...oh and spent grains they go nuts. If you keep your spent grains cool you can easily feed them for a good while on that.

Water is crucial, but you can buy double walled containers in sizes of 2.5/3/5 gallons. They are great, a 5 gallon will keep my chickens with water for over a week on a filling. As for food, you can hang a feeder as well. So you can easily stay away for several days without worry, the only problem is the egg collection which you want to keep up with. Perhaps a neighbor can be coaxed into doing this in exchange for eggs collected. The main reason being you don't want your hens to get broody, but also the eggs can spoil....a big however here...fresh eggs shouldn't be washed, they have a protective layer that will keep them for many days out at room temp (actually unless it is very hot, we keep a dozen on the counter all the time).

__________________
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.

Last edited by zoebisch01; 06-18-2008 at 11:44 AM.
zoebisch01 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:42 AM   #5
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

You rotten SOB's... you're actually getting me started thinking about getting chickens...

SWMBO said no to the goat for making cheese... maybe I could talk her into chickens though...

__________________
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA

Last edited by Sir Humpsalot; 06-18-2008 at 11:46 AM.
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
zoebisch01
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,198
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Here are some of the members of the Shire:


__________________
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.
zoebisch01 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
zoebisch01
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,198
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Coincidentally, the Muscovy duck peeps just hatched about two days ago. What really amazed me is I watched these peeps, a mere two to three days old jump up on top of a log that was over double their height! I couldn't believe it.

__________________
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.
zoebisch01 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #8
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

We'll I have my veg and beer taken care of, I'm about to start on cheese so the eggs are next.
I'd love a few goats but I don't have any land!

my yard

I've never heard the term "Chicken Tractor" I'll go look it up.

__________________
GET THE GOBLIN
Have a beer on me.
Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #9
zoebisch01
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,198
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Humpsalot View Post
You rotten SOB's... you're actually getting me started thinking about getting chickens...

SWMBO said no to the goat for making cheese... maybe I could talk her into chickens though...
They are a minimal effort project. There is NOTHING like getting fresh eggs. And if you do it right, you don't need terribly much room. They do require care though, which does tie you more to home and can be an inconvenience if you spend long amounts of time away from home often.
__________________
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.
zoebisch01 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Wow... I just remembered something from my childhood that I don't think I've thought about for 20 years......

I grew up in Chicago. My mom never bought eggs at the grocery store. We had an "egg lady" who drove around in a beat up old station wagon and sold eggs out of the back...

Wow... I can't believe i just remembered that. I'm gonna have to ask mom about that....

__________________
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lets talk about head... pnj General Beer Discussion 14 05-08-2009 01:37 PM
Lets talk about Alt Bier hialtitude Recipes/Ingredients 6 09-07-2007 11:43 PM
Lets talk dry yeast DesertBrew Recipes/Ingredients 33 04-13-2007 09:17 PM
Lets talk about lemongrass Willsellout Recipes/Ingredients 17 03-21-2007 11:55 AM
Lets talk stouts! HomeBrewMatt Commercial Brew Discussion 36 11-04-2006 04:36 AM